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The first rule of biography, wrote Justin Kaplan: “Shoot the widow.” In her new book, Meryle Secrest, acclaimed biographer (“Knowing, sympathetic and entertainingly droll”—The New York Times), writes about her comic triumphs and misadventures as a biographer in search of her nine celebrated subjects, about how the hunt for a “life” is like working one’s way through a maze, full of fall starts, dead ends, and occasional clear passages leading to the next part of the puzzle. She writes about her first book, a life of Romaine Brooks, and how she was led to Nice and given invaluable letters by her subject’s heir that were slid across the table, one at a time; how she was led to the villa of Brooks’ lover, Gabriele d’Annunzio (poet, playwright, and aviator), a fantastic mausoleum left untouched since the moment of his death seventy years before; to a small English village, where she uncovered a lost Romaine Brooks painting; and finally, to 20, rue Jacob, Paris, where Romaine’s lover, Natalie Barney, had fifty years before entertained Cocteau, Gide, Proust, Colette, and others. Secrest describes how her next book—a life of Berenson—prompted Francis Steegmuller, fellow biographer, to comment that he wouldn’t touch the subject with a ten-foot pole. For her life of British art historian Kenneth Clark, Secrest was given permission to write the book by her subject, who surreptitiously financed it in the hopes of controlling its contents; we see how Clark’s plan was foiled by a jealous mistress and a stash of love letters that helped Secrest navigate Clark’s obstacle course. Among the other biographical (mis)adventures, Secrest reveals: how she tracked Salvador Dalí to a hospital room, found him recovering from serious burns sustained in a mysterious fire, and learned that he was knee-deep in a scandal involving fake drawings and prints and surrounded by dangerous characters out of Murder, Inc. . . . and how she went in search of a subject’s grave (Frank Lloyd Wright’s) only to find that his body had been dug up to satisfy the whim of his last wife. A fascinating account of a life spent in sometimes arduous, sometimes comical, always exciting pursuit of the truth about other lives. From the Hardcover edition.
The volume reflects the history of modern biography since Johann Gottfried Herder. The historical status and methodology of significant paradigm-forming biographies are systematically examined. The processes deployed here are principally those of hermeneutics, ideology critique and narratology. Together with the volume Die Biographie - Zur Grundlegung ihrer Theorie [Towards a Theory of Biography], this work is published on behalf of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography in Vienna.
The unknown life of Alan Clark, celebrated diarist, womaniser, Tory MP and controversial minister in Mrs Thatcher's governments. Celebrated diarist, famous womaniser, Tory MP and controversial minister - a castle-owning toff and lecherous cad to some, to others a colourful and life-enhancing figure - Alan Clark was politically incorrect before the term was invented. He is best remembered for his sensational diaries - but what of the man? Alan Clark rarely spoke about his upbringing, even to his family. Was it as unhappy as he hinted? Ion Trewin has had unrestricted access to extensive family papers (including twenty years of unpublished diaries). He has talked to politicians, to those who knew him at the prep school which burnt down, to friends at Eton and Oxford, and to some of the many women he found impossible to resist despite a loving marriage of forty-one years. From his struggles to teach himself to write to formidable historian and diarist, from his enthusiasm for Margaret Thatcher to the 'drunk at the Commons dispatch box' affair, ALAN CLARK THE BIOGRAPHY is a revealing and absorbing account of a remarkable and unforgettable man.
Gisèle d’Estoc was the pseudonym of a nineteenth-century French woman writer and, it turns out, artist who, among other things, was accused of being a bomb-planting anarchist, the cross-dressing lover of writer Guy de Maupassant, and the fighter of at least one duel with another woman, inspiring Bayard’s famous painting on the subject. The true identity of this enigmatic woman remained unknown and was even considered fictional until recently, when Melanie C. Hawthorne resurrected d’Estoc’s discarded story from the annals of forgotten history. Finding the Woman Who Didn’t Exist begins with the claim by expert literary historians of France on the eve of World War II that the woman then known only as Gisèle d’Estoc was merely a hoax. More than fifty years later, Hawthorne not only proves that she did exist but also uncovers details about her fascinating life and career, along the way adding to our understanding of nineteenth-century France, literary culture, and gender identity. Hawthorne explores the intriguing life of the real d’Estoc, explaining why others came to doubt the “experts” and following the threads of evidence that the latter overlooked. In focusing on how narratives are shaped for particular audiences at particular times, Hawthorne also tells “the story of the story,” which reveals how the habits of thought fostered by the humanities continue to matter beyond the halls of academe.
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart are one of the defining duos of musical theater, contributing dozens of classic songs to the Great American Songbook and working together on over 40 shows before Hart's death. With hit after hit on both Broadway and the West End, they produced many of the celebrated songs of the '20s and '30s--such as "Manhattan," "The Lady is a Tramp," and "Bewitched"--that remain popular favorites with great cultural resonance today. Yet the early years of these iconic collaborators have remained largely unexamined. We'll Have Manhattan: The Early Work of Rodgers & Hart provides unprecedented insight into the first, formative period of Rodgers and Hart's collaboration. Author Dominic Symonds examines the pair and their work from their first meeting in 1919 to their brief flirtation with Hollywood in the early 1930s as they left the theater to explore sound film. During this time, their output was prodigious, progressive, and experimental. They developed their characteristic style and a new approach to musical theater writing that provided the groundwork for the development of the Broadway musical. Symonds also analyzes the theme of identity that runs throughout Rodgers and Hart's work, how the business side of the theater affected their artistic output, and their continued experimentation with a song's dramatic role within a narrative. We'll Have Manhattan goes beyond a biographical or historical look at Rodgers and Hart's early years--it's also an accessible but authoritative study of their material. Symonds documents their early shows and provides deft critical and analytical commentary on their evolving practice and its influence on the subsequent development of the American musical. Fans of musical theater and devotees of Rodgers and Hart will find this definitive exploration of their early works to be an essential addition to their Broadway library.
The SAGE Guide to Curriculum in Education integrates, summarizes, and explains, in highly accessible form, foundational knowledge and information about the field of curriculum with brief, simply written overviews for people outside of or new to the field of education. This Guide supports study, research, and instruction, with content that permits quick access to basic information, accompanied by references to more in-depth presentations in other published sources. This Guide lies between the sophistication of a handbook and the brevity of an encyclopedia. It addresses the ties between and controversies over public debate, policy making, university scholarship, and school practice. While tracing complex traditions, trajectories, and evolutions of curriculum scholarship, the Guide illuminates how curriculum ideas, issues, perspectives, and possibilities can be translated into public debate, school practice, policy making, and life of the general public focusing on the aims of education for a better human condition. 55 topical chapters are organized into four parts: Subject Matter as Curriculum, Teachers as Curriculum, Students as Curriculum, and Milieu as Curriculum based upon the conceptualization of curriculum commonplaces by Joseph J. Schwab: subject matter, teachers, learners, and milieu. The Guide highlights and explicates how the four commonplaces are interdependent and interconnected in the decision-making processes that involve local and state school boards and government agencies, educational institutions, and curriculum stakeholders at all levels that address the central curriculum questions: What is worthwhile? What is worth knowing, needing, experiencing, doing, being, becoming, overcoming, sharing, contributing, wondering, and imagining? The Guide benefits undergraduate and graduate students, curriculum professors, teachers, teacher educators, parents, educational leaders, policy makers, media writers, public intellectuals, and other educational workers. Key Features: Each chapter inspires readers to understand why the particular topic is a cutting edge curriculum topic; what are the pressing issues and contemporary concerns about the topic; what historical, social, political, economic, geographical, cultural, linguistic, ecological, etc. contexts surrounding the topic area; how the topic, relevant practical and policy ramifications, and contextual embodiment can be understood by theoretical perspectives; and how forms of inquiry and modes of representation or expression in the topic area are crucial to develop understanding for and make impact on practice, policy, context, and theory. Further readings and resources are provided for readers to explore topics in more details.

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